Iowa’s Smokey D’s Takes Grand Champion Title at Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest

Smithfield Pitmaster Achieves Another Incredible Win Among 266 Teams

HOUSTON, March 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Smithfield congratulates Darren and Sherry Warth, pitmasters of Iowa’s Smokey D’s competition barbecue team, on taking home the highly coveted Grand Championship at the 2017 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. With more than 260 teams and 427 separate entries, the husband and wife team from Des Moines, Ia. was crowned Grand Champion as well as winners of the Ribs category.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

“I’ve got to admit, texas style barbecue has always been our favorite, and for Sherry and me to win on one of the biggest stages in barbecue in the heart of Texas, is just a dream come true,” said Darren. “Consistency and Quality are what wins World Championships. That wasn’t a $100 rack of ribs that won in Houston, that was the same rack of ribs that any backyarder can buy day in and day out at their local grocery stores or at Walmart. Smithfield Fresh Pork brings that consistency and quality to the table in every package.”

Iowa’s Smokey D’s has now taken home the Grand Championship title at six of the most prestigious barbecue competitions: World’s Largest Bar-B-Que at Houston Livestock Rodeo, the Sam’s Club BBQ Tour Championship (2016), two-time winner at American Royal World Series of Barbeque® Open (2016 and 2013), the King of the Smokers (2014), the Jack Daniels Barbecue Invitational (2014) and the Kingsford Invitational (2013).

Here in Houston, Iowa’s Smokey D’s competed against fellow Smithfield-sponsored pitmasters Ernest Servantes (New Braunfels, Tx.), and Tuffy Stone (Richmond, Va.). All three Smithfield-sponsored teams competed in the coveted “Champions Corner” – Warth due to his Grand Championship at the 2016 American Royal, Servantes for winning Grand Champion at the 2016 BBQ Austin and Stone for his record-breaking third Grand Championship at the 2016 Jack Daniel’s Barbecue Invitational.

Iowa’s Smokey D’s is a member of the Smithfield Barbecue Alliance, whose pitmasters compete in barbecue competitions exclusively with Smithfield fresh pork and ribs. In the past year, Smithfield Barbecue Alliance teams have dominated the barbecue circuit, placing 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 7th out of nearly 3,000 teams in the Kansas City Barbecue Society Team of the Year standings. Other Smithfield Barbecue Alliance Pitmasters are Melissa Cookson (Memphis, Tn.), Chris Lilly (Decatur, Ala.), Jeff Stehney (Kansas City, Ks.), Sterling Ball (Coachella, Ca.), Tim Sheer (New Haven, Mo.), and Brad Leighninger (Branson, Mo.).

Several Smithfield pitmasters will join the brand for fresh pork grilling demonstrations and sampling opportunities throughout the summer as part of Smithfield’s 2017 Get Grilling America Tour. For further details about opportunities for barbecue pitmasters and the Smithfield Grant Program, which offers monetary and marketing support to qualified barbecue contests throughout the United States, please visit

About Smithfield
A leading provider of high-quality pork products, Smithfield was founded in 1936 in Smithfield, Virginia. From hand-trimmed ribs, loins and bacon and slow-smoked holiday hams to marinated tenderloins, Smithfield brings artistry, authenticity and a commitment to heritage, flavor, and handcrafted excellence to everything it produces. With a vast product portfolio including smoked meats, hams, bacon, sausage, ribs, and a wide variety of fresh pork cuts, the company services retail, foodservice, and deli channels across the United States and 30 countries abroad. All of Smithfield's products meet the highest quality and safety standards in the industry. To learn more about how Flavor Hails from Smithfield, please visit,, and Smithfield is a brand of Smithfield Foods.

About Smithfield Foods
Smithfield Foods is a $14 billion global food company and the world's largest pork processor and hog producer. In the United States, the company is also the leader in numerous packaged meats categories with popular brands including Smithfield®, Eckrich®, Nathan's Famous®, Farmland®, Armour®, John Morrell®, Cook's®, Kretschmar®, Gwaltney®, Curly's®, Margherita®, Carando®, Healthy Ones®, Krakus®, Morliny®, and Berlinki®. Smithfield Foods is committed to providing good food in a responsible way and maintains robust animal care, community involvement, employee safety, environmental and food safety and quality programs. For more information, visit

Pitmaster Darren Warth

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